The 3rd Sector, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Pure Theatre LLP
Paolo Chianta (writer), Lilah Vandenburgh (director), Andrew Jones (composer), Neil Sowerby (lighting design)
Toby Manley (Josh), Isla Lindsay (Marlin), Eva-Jane Willis (Jenny/Sarah-Jane), Rachel Stubbings (Eve/Reporter), Julia Frost (Carmel), David Biddle (Felix)
Running time

‘The 3rd Sector’ promises well; the actuality, after all, is, in these challenging times, deserving of some satirical attention.

The Third Sector is the term used in the British Isles to describe what were once called ‘charities’; the province of elderly ladies with knitted hats ‘doing good’. All has changed with the times, of course, and diversity, from large-scale famine relief, through aid for the drug-addicted or learning disabled to the theatre group or orchestra you went to last night, is the complex reality. All can claim the tax breaks and the status of ‘charity’.

Pure Theatre dive into this messy complexity, where directors can earn five or even six figure salaries but organisations still depend on the ‘goodwill’ of volunteers and the skills of the underpaid.

David Biddle’s Felix is the public face of a self-established charity promoting organ donation. Josh (Toby Marley) provides public relations puff to the organisation. A publicity coup going horribly wrong offers Josh the opportunity to do the right thing, but making things better brings its own kind of consequences…

It’s a wonderful idea and opportunity, which sadly on the day seen, at least, didn’t quite come off.

Paolo Chianta’s script is witty in places and, with ten years experience in ‘the sector’, this reviewer recognised several well-drawn archetypes, but it needed more attack from the cast to really work, and one was left to speculate whether a need for tighter direction or simply an ‘off’ day had made the performance seen a somewhat tired one.

Re-worked and re-packaged, ‘The 3rd Sector’ could prove a worthwhile touring vehicle, but it needs more momentum than it seems to have at present.

Pleasance Bunker Two, 1-25 August (not Monday 11), 12.15p.m.